Carpet and Flooring choices are a long term commitment. Although it is easy to change your furniture, fixtures and fitting in a home, flooring is far more permeant and is usually only replaces when it wears out. This means you will need to seriously consider your choice of flooring to ensure it works well with your home practically and aesthetically.
There are many options of flooring for you to choose from. Each of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. This means people often get confused as to the perfect flooring option for their home or business. With this blog entry, we hope to help with this problem.
When choosing your flooring you should focus on the;
- Footfall (be it a high or low traffic area of flooring),
- Difficulty of Installation,
- Ease of Cleaning and,
These are but some of the factors we have used to try and assess the benefits and pitfalls of some types of flooring.
Different Flooring Materials
Tiled flooring is more popular in warmer climates but is still used very often in the UK.
Tiles are available in a wide variety of colours, textures and patterns.
Although tiles all have similar properties such as their hard-wearing resilience and impermeability to water, tiles do vary in their best use-case application. These tiles include vitrified tiles, ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, etc.
Ceramic tiles are made of a clay composite mixture that is blended with water and then baked. This creates the common red tint. These tiles can be used for both interior and exterior uses and are ideal for areas of high moisture such as kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms. This is even more prudent as Ceramic Tiles are relatively slip-resistant.
01(b) Vitrified Tiles
Vitrified tiles are commonly used in living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.
What makes the Vitrified Tile unique is it’s gloss finish that distances itself from other ceramic tiles with matte finish. However, if you really want a Vitrified Tile, you can get them in matte.
Vitrified Tiles can be broken down into a few main types:
- Full Body Vitrified Tiles:
These tiles include a pigment in the entirety of the tile. This means that scratches are far less noticeable because scratches will be in the same colour as the tile.
This has the added benefit of meaning that cut tiles will retain the same colour, This is useful for room borders.
- Double Charge Vitrified Tiles:
Double Charge tiles are created by using a press that prints a double colour pigment layer. This means that the tile becomes thicker and could be better for high traffic areas
- Soluble Salt Vitrified Tiles:
These tiles are screen printed and then polished to create a shine finish. This is perfect for presentation areas that need that something special to make them pop. Perfect for business.
- Glazed Vitrified Tiles:
Glazed Vitrified Tiles (GVT) have an additional glazed surface placed on top of them. This glazed vitrified tiles can be printed with any desired design, making them all unique and usable for a multitude of uses.
01(c) Porcelain Tiles
Although Porcelain Tiles are a type of vitrified tile, they are usually considered in their own category of flooring because of their own unique properties. Porcelain Tiles are quite brittle and are therefore not commonly used in modern flooring.
Porcelain tiles can be used in low-traffic areas such as the bedroom and living room and they are stain and water resistant.
02. Stone Flooring
Stone flooring is a favourite of businesses and individuals that want to make their room, home or house stand out. This is thanks to the individual grain that is hard to replicate by manufactured process.
Natural stone comes in as many different permutations as you can think of but some of the most popular are marble, limestone, granite, slate, sandstone and travertine. We recommend stone for warmer climates because of their cool touch. However, this is not a common concern for business flooring.
However, we recommend considering Laminate and Vinyl flooring if you want to crease the effect of stone flooring but for a fraction of the cost.
Marble is a favourite of high class entrances and premium establishments.
If treated correctly, marble can completely change an area. This is a common flooring option for business’ who want to wow but don’t want to spend the money on granite flooring.
02(b) Granite Flooring
Another Natural flooring type; Granite flooring completely enhances the class and prestige of a room. Our favourite use for granite is in the kitchen because of its extremely hard wearing nature and its resistance to water and heat. However, it does make outdoor areas feel just that little bit more special.
With it’s rough and sandy completion, Limestone flooring creates its own unique effect thanks to its individual patterns created by sedimentary rocks. This is perfect for bathrooms, hallways and dining rooms.
Sandstone flooring is made of loose grains of rough quarts sand. Thanks to this individual and colourful composition, we recommend Sandstone for exterior use.
02(e) Slate Flooring
Show your true patriotism with a slate floor. Welsh slate particularly is a common choice in the UK, although it is more commonly used for roofing. Rougher surfaces of slate are perfect for entrances, patios and kitchens.
03. Wood Flooring
One of the oldest flooring options in the world. Wood is a simple but effective choice. However, because of it’s tendency to warp and become easily damaged we recommend considering an alternative Vinyl or Laminate flooring options that looks and feels like real wood! With proper care, these alternate flooring options can last a far longer period of time than hardwood flooring.
03(a) Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring is composed of single pieces of wood of around a 20mm thickness. We recommend solid wood be installed only in places of extreme dryness as to avoid warping. If you do spill water on the floor, clean and dry immediately.
03(b) Engineered and Vinyl Flooring
Engineered and Vinyl Flooring is made with a plywood core and a layer of solid wood that is stuck to the top using adhesives. This has the added benefit of being usable even in kitchen areas.
03(c) Laminate Flooring
If you want to know more about Laminate Flooring, Read or latest blog entry on the subject!
Laminate is created by placing a synthetic image of wood or even stone on top of a fibreboard base. This image is then made tactile through a clear membrane that is indented with the ridges of the image below. This recreated the feel of real wood with impressive accuracy.
Laminate flooring can be installed in any room such as living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms. However, we still don’t recommend installing it in wet areas like bathrooms.
Read below to find out more on the UK’s most popular flooring choices…
04. PVC or Vinyl Flooring
PVC flooring is also known as vinyl flooring. These types of flooring material have a very smooth top surface and a rough lower surface. Vinyl flooring is a good choice for areas that are prone to spills and moisture such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, also for offices, etc.
05. China Mosaic Flooring
China mosaic flooring is very old type of flooring. Mosaics are made from small round pieces of stones. They form nice pattern and give a beautiful look. It is popularly used in the terrace area.
06. Concrete Flooring
Concrete flooring is one of the oldest types of flooring. It is commonly used throughout the world for almost all types of buildings. Concrete flooring is extremely strong and is able to withstand the pressure from very heavy equipment such as cars, trucks, etc.
07. Terrazzo Flooring
Terrazzo flooring is a concrete surface with special type of marble chips embedded in it. Terrazzo flooring is commonly recommended for bathrooms, dining rooms, offices, hospitals, etc.
08. Mosaic Tiles Flooring
Mosaic tiles are created by assembling tiny pieces of glass, tiles or natural stones. You can use them in the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom floors. The use of mosaic will give decorative look to your house.
09. Glass Flooring
Glass flooring is not very common, but can be used in aristocratic buildings both residential and public particularly to have smooth and pleasing surface. Glass flooring is generally bacteria and dirt-resistant.
10. Brick Flooring
Brick Flooring is one of the oldest types of flooring materials. It is majorly used in courtyards, stores, godowns, etc. Brick flooring is durable and provides sufficiently hard floor surface. It provides a non-slippery and fire-resistant surface.
11. Carpet Flooring
In carpet flooring, the carpet is made from wool or from synthetic fibers, such as polypropylene, nylon, or polyester. It is the most versatile of all flooring options, featuring more colours and textures than any other types of flooring material. It is a child friendly flooring option used in the kid’s bedroom and also in living room, bedroom, etc. However, cleaning can be issue.
12. Cork Flooring
Cork is a natural material obtained from the outer bark of cork oak tree. It is available in the form of coloured tiles or sheets. Cork flooring is mostly used in the kitchen, dining areas, etc. This type of flooring material is environmentally friendly. Cork flooring is considered a renewable and sustainable natural resource.
13. Linoleum Flooring
Linoleum flooring is made of linseed oil, wood or cork powder, and ground stone. It is recyclable material and available in different colours, styles and patterns and resists water easily. It is most commonly used in kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms.
14. Rubber Flooring
Rubber flooring is most popular in Asian Countries. This type of flooring is noiseless, comfortable in walking, and very durable. The initial cost of rubber flooring is a little bit high. It gives excellent wearing surface.
15. Acid Resisting Flooring
In chemical laboratories, acid manufacturing factories, storage battery factory buildings and such other places where the floor is subjected to the actions of acid, such types of floor finishing are used.
16. Magnesite Flooring
Magnesite flooring consists of calcined magnesite, magnesium chloride, wood dust, ground quartz or silica and fine powdered wood waste. It is used as finishing surface on concrete floor slabs. It is also known as the composition of a “jointless floor”. These types of flooring, though not very common, is cheap, gives a smooth surface and can be laid jointless on the rough surface as the material is flexible.
The choices of flooring materials are forever growing and a wide range is available to suit your needs. You can choose different types of flooring materials that are hard or soft and pick from a wide range of variety of styles and colours. Don’t forget, you are going to use your flooring every minute in your house, so choose well and carefully. Without great flooring, a house can never be great.
Author: Kinjal Mistry
Link to original article: https://gharpedia.com/types-of-flooring-materials/